MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Longtime Minnesota congressman Jim Ramstad has died at age 74. He was a moderate Republican whose battle with alcoholism led him to become a champion of mental health and recovery issues.

His former chief of staff, Dean Peterson, says Ramstad died at his home in Wayzata late Thursday of Parkinson's disease.

Ramstad represented Minneapolis suburbs for nine terms in the U.S. House before retiring in 2009. He also served for 10 years in the Minnesota Senate.

Ramstad was chief sponsor of legislation that opened the door to treatment for millions of Americans suffering from mental illness or chemical addiction.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app